Helping is a skill.
A skill indicates that there are several stages to learning — novice -> intermediate -> advanced.
Some of us, even with what we think are good intentions, are unknowingly still in the beginning stages of being a good helper.
And, that’s okay because I’m about to help you out.
Mastering the art of helping can take a lifetime. There are many courses that come in the form of different people and their unique situations.
Sometimes helping requires you to be hands-on and active. Other times you might be called to just listen. Being a good helpmate will lead you to intuitively discover what is appropriate for each person and situation.
The best way to start on the path of being a good helper is with a simple question: What do you NEED help with? Start there.
You can even get fancy with it: How can I be of service to you?
Helping isn’t bashing or judging someone’s work after the fact. You have to be there in the way that they need you from the beginning.
Just the concept of allowing someone to help is a vulnerable act. Since childhood, it’s been ingrained in us to have it all together, so you have to approach helping with tact and sensitivity.
Because we have been exposed to many different things in life, we think we know the best way to help a person. Often times we think we’re helping when in reality we aren’t listening to their needs.
Observe. Listen. Inquire. Then Act.